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IHSD Research & Centers

Faculty in IHSD conduct interdisciplinary research to generate high quality evidence to inform the design and implementation of context-specific strategies and interventions. Our approach to research puts emphasis on implementation sciences, program monitoring and evaluation, and generating evidence for learning and adaptation of programs and interventions. We recognize that sustainable socio-economic development is a key driver of reductions health disparities in morbidity and mortality within and across countries. In the IHSD department, sustainable development encompasses the development of the health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which include, but are not limited to, building capacity for health and public health professionals, strengthening health systems to improve access, quality, and equity in care, and improving health information systems to improve health surveillance and response. Through the development lens, faculty in IHSD conduct research in a wide range of topics, from family planning/reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV and infectious diseases, to food security, resilience, and complex emergencies.

Employing a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, our faculty investigate systems-level issues, in addition to individual-level factors, that influence health and development. Our work spans the globe and fosters valued connections with partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, as well as the United States. Our research portfolio continues to grow and change from year to year. Recent examples are listed below.

Research Projects

Recently Completed Projects

MEASURE Evaluation was a partnership among Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Palladium Group, ICF, John Snow, Inc., Management Sciences for Health, and Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with the mandate to strengthen health systems in low-resource settings.

Research Highlights

  • Doctoral student Shalean Collins presented as a panelist in a NSF webinar on water insecurity and gender-based violence on June 29th at 10am CDT. 
  • This recent UNICEF report, with contributions from Tulane IHD colleagues (David Hotchkiss, Anastasia Gage, Annie Preaux, and Matt Worges) found that the COVID-19 pandemic is profoundly affecting the everyday lives of girls: their physical and mental health, their education, and the economic circumstances of their families and communities. All of these disruptions and changes increase the likelihood of child marriage. They estimate that in the next decade this could result in up to 10 million more girls being at risk of becoming child brides as a result of the pandemic.
  • Arachu Castro, PhD, MPH, Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America and Director of the Collaborative Group for Health Equity in Latin America, gave a TedTalk about obstetric violence.

Research Centers

Center for Studies of Displaced Populations

The Center for Studies of Displaced Populations is a new center established in 2016 that studies individuals and families in transition. The principal study is "Demographic and Health Disparities in Recovery from Hurricane Katrina: KATRINA@10." The NIH-funded KATRINA@10 Program consists of an interrelated set of three primary data collection projects that focus on one specific sub-population who were uniquely affected by Hurricane Katrina; two secondary analyses of data that are more broadly representative of the overall affected population; and three cores to support the set of research projects.

Highly Vulnerable Children Research Center

The Highly Vulnerable Children Research Center aims to compile a rigorous evidence base for highly vulnerable children (HVC) programs and policy decision making. Monitoring and evaluation support, technical assistance, and capacity building are central to our work as we seek to support the abilities of governments, communities, and families to provide evidence-informed, quality care for HVC.